19 MAY 1973, Page 9

Water boy

The bugs are in the wood-work, And multiplying fast. Can you hear the distant murmurs, water-boy?

And surface at the last. It's amazing how things lurk, Ro the sweets of office still provide great joy?

,uirty water in full spate

uvertops the water-gate.

The Pentagonian papers uon't now read so well.

The bats in belfries' not your ploy. he judge disliked your capers,

.ksi•id said " Oh go w hell." ",;(1, You hear the closer murmurs, water-boy? dv'' rtY water in full spate ertoPs the water-gate.

The White House staff grows thinner;

ere's pressure Dick should go.

Do Presidential pleasures start to cloy?

But Dick's still got a winner, ,After him there comes Spiro.

LYou hear the bloodhounds baying, water-boy? —'rtY water in full spate uvertops the water-gate. Basil Charles signate a particular official as permanent successor, fidelity to the original understanding does not restrict us to that extent. It is not overstepping the bounds to condone a law which specifies an immediate temporary successor and, if time allows, goes on to provide that the remainder of the presidential term shall be filled by "such officer of the United States as shall be selected by a vote of the electors." That would allow a very wide choice, including every member of Congress, every federal judge, and, in the Executive Branch, at least every member of the Cabinet and all other presidential appointees. Except for state governors, that is very much the list from which presidential candidates are presently chosen. And, in this case, if the Congress feared unconventionality, it could prescribe an election carried out under the archaic electoral college system.

One caveat applies to each of these alternatives. If Congress wishes to widen the choice, it must act promptly. The existing succession law ought to be rewritten before the vacancy arises. As with any other legislation, such a law of course requires the president's ap proval, or the overriding of his veto. But that may be a good way of reminding President Nixon and Vice-President Agnew of their duty to resign. At all events, the Congress ought not to hold back, waiting for the Presi dent to resign. It, too, has a duty, and, within constitutional limits, the people must be given a choice. I trust the path is now cleared. The Congress may now write a new law and Nixon and Agnew may safely abdicate.